BELTON TENNIS
INFORMATION

SC TENNIS
HALL OF FAME

 
 

-About Us-

Belton Tennis Association History

The Belton Tennis Association is a 501-c-3 organization which started following World War II as the Belton Tennis Club, with Max Grubbs as the first president. The Tennis Club assumed the responsibility for management and upkeep of the two clay "town" courts and began to sponsor an annual tournament which began as the Anderson County Championships. Later the tournament expanded to include five neighboring counties and became known as the Piedmont Championships. The Tennis Club received its first charter in 1954, and the property where the courts were located was deeded to the First Baptist Church by Dr. Willis Martin in memory of his parents. Soon the Club had raised $10,000 in local contributions, and a third court was built and the surface of all 3 courts was changed from "real" clay to all-weather Rubico. By 1957, the Piedmont Championships had been sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association, and became a junior tournament for players from throughout the south. The tournament's name was changed to the Palmetto Championships.

Due to maintenance issues, the three "town" courts were converted to hard surface in the mid-1960's. The Belton Tennis Club disbanded and became inactive between 1971-1986 (when it was absorbed by the Belton Recreation Association), although the Belton community and the Belton Recreation Association continued to host the Palmetto Championships. The club was re-activated in 1986 as the Belton Tennis Association, and with the help of Blair Mills employed a local tennis professional.

The Association raised over $150,000 in 1991 and expanded to five hard surface courts. A club house was added, the original three courts were resurfaced with new fences and the landscaping was improved. In 2004 the original three courts had deteriorated beyond repair. Another $120,000 was raised and these courts were demolished and rebuilt with new fencing, and the two new courts were resurfaced. The trees adjoining Court 1 were removed, and awnings were added to provide shade to spectators. Additional landscaping was added.

Each June since 1957, the Belton Tennis Association has hosted the Palmetto Championships presented by Chick-fil-A of Anderson, the state's largest and strongest tournament for junior players. The Palmetto is the state's national qualifying tournament for South Carolina junior players. Each year the Palmetto attracts 500 players from all over the state. The Palmetto has been named the South Carolina Junior Tournament of the Year three times (1986, 1990 & 2008), and the Southern Junior Tournament of the year once (1990). The Palmetto celebrated its 57th anniversary in 2013. The Belton Tennis Center also hosts the Hall of Fame Classic, a girls high school tournament held in October, which was started in 1987 and celebrated it 27th anniversary in 2013.

The Belton Tennis Association is operated by an 12-member board of directors, and is organized to provide tennis opportunities, means and facilities for junior and adult players in the Belton area. The BTA is a USTA registered Community Tennis Association. It operates the Belton Tennis Center, with 5 lighted courts and a clubhouse in downtown Belton. A part time Director of Tennis is employed by the Association and is available for lessons and clinics. The Association is operated with private funds, but its facilities are open to the public. No membership is required to use the facilities, which are open Monday through Saturday 8:00 until 10:00 and Sunday after 12:15 until 10:00. No play is allowed at the Belton Tennis Center until after 12:15 each Sunday.

A number of programs, many sponsored by the United States Tennis Association, have been offered at the Belton Tennis Center. These include:

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USTA Adult League programs
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High School tournaments
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Junior Team Tennis
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Individual lessons
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School programs
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Group clinics
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Sanctioned tournaments
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Children's parties
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Cardio Tennis
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Adult socials and events
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Quick Start Tennis
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High school tournaments

 

 

 
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